A van camper was rudely awakened by a juvenile bear on his windshield, and he shared the footage on Instagram. Michael Dietrich aka Mountain Mike is an endurance athlete and travel blogger. Along with his dog, he documents his outdoor adventures. However, he probably didn’t anticipate shooting a video first thing in the morning while inside his van camper.
The footage shows the wild animal standing on the hood of the van, peering inside. Dietrich’s dog is seen briefly, looking concerned about the bear clawing at the windsheild. Cracks can be seen forming near t he bottom of the glass. Dietrich honks the horn a few times, but it doesn’t seem to phase the beast. Eventually, the bear seems to give up and jumps off the vehicle. “Excuse me, can you please get off my van? I was trying to sleep in…” the adventure blogger captioned the video.
Some Monday morning quarterbacks may feel that Dietrich should have been more aggressive. After all, the bear did manage to damage his van. However, Dietrich was wise to stay inside rather than confront the bear, The rules of viewing etiquette are the first step toward avoiding a bear encounter that might develop into an attack. Keeping a safe distance and not surprising bears are two things that are particularly crucial. If you hear humans approaching, most bears will avoid them. If you’re in an area with known bear activity or a rich food source, such as berry bushes, pay attention to your surroundings and try to stand out.
What to do in a bear encounter
According to the National Park Service, Dietrich was in the right by staying put. They advise not to drop your pack and not to give a bear any food. They also stress not to make direct eye contact. Another thing they suggest is to travel in groups. Dietrich at least had his trusty dog with him. Finally, the NPS urges folks not to climb trees to escape wild animals.
The NPS stresses that these attacks are extremely rare. Most bears mind their own business if not antagonized by humans. However, they do have some tips in the event of an attack. Interestingly, they strongly urge people to not play dead with black bears. Playing dead works with their brown cousins, though. If you’re stuck in a bear attack, the NPS says the best bet is to get out of there as quickly as possible. They urge you to find a car or shelter if you can. If you aren’t able to flee, try to defend yourself with whatever is accessible. The NPS says to focus your blows on the bear’s face and muzzle.